Treating Periodontal (Gum) Disease in Salem, OR
Periodontal disease is the result of infection below the gum line. This is a very common dental disorder, but it should not be ignored. There are several terms associated with this disorder: gum disease, gingivitis or periodontitis, these are all terms to indicate infection in the periodontal tissue, which is the tissue that supports your teeth. If you are experiencing red, sensitive, irritated gums that bleed when you floss, this is not normal, this is an indication of infection.
How did my gums become infected?
Our mouths are constantly exposed to bacteria, this is why Dr. King, along with all dentists, recommend brushing at least twice a day. Flossing and rinsing are also very important. This is done to remove the bacteria, known to us as plaque or tartar. When plaque rests at the bottom of our teeth, it allows the bacteria to travel below the gum line.
What happens once my gums are infected?
The bacteria irritates the gum tissue and causes the tissue to pull away from the bacteria, which in this case the bacteria is on our teeth, so the tissue is pulling away from our teeth. At your dental checkups, our hygienist will measure your gum pockets, this is the amount that the tissue has pulled away from the tooth. If your gum pockets are greater than 3 mm we may find that you have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. At King Dental, we can help. Gum disease can be maintained by removing the bacteria that is causing the irritation. Our team can determine if a traditional cleaning will cure the problem or if something more involved like a Deep Cleaning through Scaling and Root Planing is necessary. If allowed to progress, you may note that your teeth will begin to feel loose in your mouth, they may shift around, effecting your bite, and eventually, they may even fall out. We can stop this progress, the sooner, the better.
What is a Deep Cleaning?
Deep cleaning is the process of removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line. This is a procedure that needs to be performed by someone with training and the appropriate tools. By scaling, we remove the irritating bacteria, and then with root planing, we smooth the roots of your teeth, which will help bacteria from not being able to easily attach again in the future. Dr. King may use an anti-bacterial gel or even prescribe a rinse following this procedure.
Afterwards, your gums may ache for a day or two. During this time, the tissue is healing and hopefully reattaching. Dr. King may ask to see you more frequently for checkups.
We are happy to answer any questions about gum or periodontal disease and how to fix it.
Contact our Salem, OR office at: 503-588-0061